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Friday, June 10, 2005

My Font Size "Magically" Changed.


I turned on my computer this morning only to find that all my settings had been “magically” changed overnight. When opening QuickBooks, the font displayed on my desktops is about a size 8. Every place that I found to change the font already shows it being at my original default setting of size 11. But that’s not what is displaying. I did a couple virus scans and restarted my computer but nothing helps. What am I missing? Thanks!


Don't you love it when settings "magically" change. It sounds to me that it is a problem with your screen resolution settings rather than QuickBooks. Do all the other programs display text correctly? If so then you may have a virus or some other problem. Check with your network administrator.

It is obvious from your question that you found where to change the display settings. For the benefit of everyone else, here is a quote from the QuickBooks Help screen dealing with how to change screen resolution and font size in Microsoft Windows.

"From QuickBooks, you can open the Display Settings for Microsoft Windows. Changes to your Display Settings will affect other applications beyond QuickBooks.

  1. From the View menu, choose Customize Desktop.

  2. In the Windows Settings area, click Display.

  3. Select options for Desktop Area and Font Size."

Tracking Groups of Funds in "Super-Classes"


I'm looking at the books of a non-profit that has over a dozen funds they need to track. It would be nice to create a class for each fund. It would be nice to have a super-class of similar funds, so a report could have columns like these:

Operating Fund

Endowment - Unassigned Fund

Endowment - Assigned Funds - This column would contain a total of numerous "sub-class" funds Scholarship Funds - This column would also contain a total for numerous "sub-class" funds.

I know QuickBooks permits selecting any funds to include in a report. I know that information could be consolidated in a spreadsheet, but does QuickBooks permit creating any kind of super-class or other technique so that collections of classes could be shown in one column next to other collections of classes.


Unfortunately, I don't think that "super-classes" are possible within QuickBooks. For this, you would need to find a more robust accounting software product that is based on fund accounting. This probably is overkill for most non-profits as this fund accounting packages can cost tens of thousands of dollars. I would say that from your description you are doing the best you can with what you have. If you really need these reports, you could try to format them in excel.

My Backups are Using Too Many Disks! (Condensing Data)


How can I limit my number of disks needed for daily back ups. I started with one and now I am up six. What is the procedure? Or should I just keep adding disks?


Here are a few suggestions to your problem:

  • You can condense your data. If you have many years of transactions in your company file, then you can remove those transactions...leaving only the general ledger entries. The downside to this is that if you want to go back and see a check on your screen you will not be able to. I would keep at least 5 - 7 years of your data uncompressed. Personally I would not go this route, but I wanted to let you know it is available. How ever I not sure exactly how great the disk space savings would be.
  • Do your backups on a CD. CD-RW drives are very reasonable now...I think this would be a good investment. Below is a link to a good one from
  • Consider an online backup service. This will do two things. 1. You don't have to worry about the size as long as it fits in the size constraints of the service you are using...which is pretty big. 2. Your data will be stored off site. In the event of a disaster your data would be safe. Intuit offers one designed for QuickBooks, and there are others out there as well.

Help Needed!


I work with Africa for Jesus, a non-profit missionary org., and the Office Manager and I are having a problem with our QuickBooks information.

We are under the Non-Profit Navigator section of QuickBooks 2004 ed., and in inputing the support monies under donations (sales receipts), the totals are showing up in the deposits (which they should be) in the check registry, AS WELL AS payments going out. We have looked in the manual and are unable to find assistance with our problem. Christy called the Assistance line for QuickBooks and they said to enter the donations in under Payments Received, yet it is not working correctly, due to another step prior to this one which we have no idea what to do. If there is any way you can help direct us in the right direction or help us find a solution, we would greatly appreciate it very much!!!

Thank you!

Well, have me stumped...I'm not sure that I understand the question completely, but it seems like one of those things that you would have to see to fix. Hopefully, one of our readers may have an explanation.

QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 5.0 vs. QB Enterprise Solutions, Accountant's Edition.


What is the difference between QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions, Accountant's Edition ($849) and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 5.0 ($3,500)?

Thanks for your help!


As I understand it, the accountant's edition is a single license version of the software. The regular Enterprise Edition includes the ability for up to 10 simultaneous users.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Finally Help Importing .IIF Files.

To further prove that we have the smartest readers on the internet, our readerAmos solved his own problem with importing .IIF files. Which seems to be a common problem. He points us to a QuickBooks support site that deals with this issue. Click here for the site. I hope you find it helpful, and thank you Amos for the tip.

Importing Lists.


Recently, we changed from QuickBooks Pro 2002 to QuickBooks Premier 2004 - Contractor Edition. We started from scratch and entered the opening balances to each account. When it came to lists, we imported the lists from the old program. Including the item list, which leads to my question. Previously, when I would choose an item (such as labor) to the timesheet and later to the invoice, the item description (such as: Field Engineer – ST) would show up on the invoice display and printed. Now, it does not automatically fill it in, the description field remains blank. Is this a problem that I encountered when I imported my lists instead of setting up items individually? Is there a way to rectify the situation? I knew that importing the lists would save allot of time, it was a “too good to be true” kind of thing. Am I paying for it now?!


It seems that there are a lot of questions resulting from the importing of files/parts of files. It seems to me that Intuit should be looking at making this process easier. Your particular problem doesn't appear to be to difficult. I would first check to see if the item descriptions came over in you import. To do this go to your "Item List" (Lists - Item List). Find one of the items that is not displaying properly. Right click on it and select "Edit" and see what is in the "Description" field. If it is blank this is your problem. Now, you have two choices: 1. Try to re-import the list. 2. Spend some time with your computer and fill in the description field for each item. Considering the success I have seen with imports this may be your best bet.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Exporting Reports to Excel.


Is there a way to export a register to Excel? I'd like a list of say invoices created in May... or sales by month. Reports don't seem to offer what I'm wanting. If I had the register in a spreadsheet, I could create any report I needed.

By the way, THANKS for your blog site!!!


Your very welcome...I have been enjoying it too.

As for exporting reports to Excel, it can be done, and in fact very easily. When you open any report in QuickBooks, there are several buttons in the header of the report such as "Modify Report", "Memorize", "Print", etc. There should also be a button "Export." If you click this button you will be asked how you want to export "a new Excel workbook." You should then be able to format them until your heart is content.

One note however, as I understand it this feature is only available in QuickBooks 2002 Pro or higher. I don't believe that this is available if you have QuickBooks Basic.

Setting User Permissions.


I have set up a user with all rights except change/delete transactions. What is your opinion on the security of this? Does it later pose a problem if there is a posting error? How fail safe is this? It is my understanding that this user now is the same as Admin, just without the ability to change or delete transactions. Is this correct?


I agree with you that there is some danger in allowing your staff permission to change transactions at will.

However, I think that you have picked up on a downfall of limiting access as well. Every time they make a keying mistake, you or one of the other administrators will have to log in and correct it...if your staff member did not catch the mistake in a single session.

It is kind of weird that this restriction works this way. Your staff member can change or delete transactions at will that they created in a single session. Once the session is closed (They logged off) they will no longer be allowed to edit or delete transactions.

You probably noticed in setting up the user permissions that you can allow editing and deleting of transactions in the current period while simultaneously denying the staff member permission to edit or delete prior period information. I would definitely use this you know the danger of editing prior periods.

Basically, I believe that you have it right. The user you have set up is essentially an administrator. There could be problem in correcting errors, but only after a session is closed. You may still find this to be a good restriction to protect your data.

Using Quickbooks in a Networked Enviornment.


We have a small company and we are using Quick Books Pro 2005. We recently networked a laptop to the company computer for travel purposes. We are having a terrible time viewing QuickBooks on the laptop after the network connection has been unconnected. Do you know how to make it so that the laptop can view the QuickBooks files when there is no network connection?


This question may be better answered by your network administrator, as it sounds like this is a networking problem rather than a software one.

It sounds like you are using a peer-to-peer network, and using the office desktop as the server.

Here are some things to consider when using QuickBooks in this type of networked environment:

  • When both computers are connected to the network…ensure that your software is in Muti-User mode (File - Switch to Multi User Mode).
  • If you are using the desktop as the server, I would store the company file on one of its drives.
  • Be careful about backing up and using your company file on the road with the laptop. I have seen many clients forget to restore their changes on the main computer and get their data all messed up. One thing that has worked well for me is using For a reasonable rate (around 20 bucks a month), you can access your computer from anywhere there is internet access.

As I said before, you should check with your network administrator to ensure that the way your network is set-up, as well as the way you are connecting and disconnecting from it is not causing you problems...because it sounds to me like it might be. I say this because personal experience in my practice has shown me that a Microsoft XP networked enviornment can have more quirks than you can imagine.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Trouble Importing an .IIF File.


I am having difficulty importing an iif file into QuickBooks. The file I have is the same format as previous files I have imported with exception of the dates, dollar amounts and project name. Do you have any suggestions as to where I should look?


Sorry, but there are so many variables to consider when importing a file, with out seeing the data I don't know where to begin. I would try to find inconsistencies in the file you are importing that doesn't work and the previous files that did work. It would seem that there must be some difference.

Can you Print Account Names on Vouchers?


Is it possible to print the expense category (found in your chart of accounts) as well as the class on printed checks?

Thank you for any help you can give.


Yes, you can print account names on the vouchers, however not on the checks themselves. To do this, go into preferences (Edit - Preferences) and on the left side of the window select checking. Then go to the "Company Preferences" tab and check the box that says "Print Account Names on Voucher."

How to Track the Profitability of Jobs.


I buy and sell heavy equipment. I buy a cat d6, have it painted, change the oil, have it transported and then sell it. I want to be able to run a report that tells me what kind of profit I make on each transaction. How do I start? Each piece should not be an asset, should it? I understand the software, but I just don't know whether to use classes, job numbers or what... Thanks so much for your help.


Interesting line of work your in. I think your best bet would be to use a new job name/number for each piece of equipment. Make sure you allocate all direct expenses and income to the job. Then you can run a "Job Profitability" report that will tell you what your gross profit is on each piece of equipment. (Reports - Jobs, Time, & Mileage).

Can You Sort the Unpaid Bill Report by Due Date?


I am a new user and would like to have a list of invoices to show vendor, amount and due date. I need this to be listed by due date only and not by vendor.




Bob, unfortunately I am not aware of a QuickBooks report that will give you this information in just the way you want it. The closest thing would be the “Unpaid Bills Detail” report. (This can be found under reports – vendors & payables). You can sort this report by due date, but the bills are still sorted by vendor as well. This is something that I hope Intuit will address in the future and allow users to write their own reports…but until then I apologize that I couldn’t be more help.

What If I Don't Want to Pay For Payroll Services?


I Am new to QB pro…

Don’t want to pay extra to have QB do my payroll for me… However, when I try to setup payroll, the program never lets me complete everything and pay employees because it says I am not signed up for one of their payroll services…in my opinion, this is a rip-off…

please help,




I agree, Intuit may be a bit overzealous in marketing their payroll services. Don’t panic though, they still allow you to calculate payroll the old fashioned way. Here is the information directly from the QuickBooks Help menu. I will agree with you…they did their best to hide it from you.

“If you don't sign up for one of the Intuit Payroll Services, QuickBooks won't calculate your payroll taxes or provide payroll tax forms. You will have to calculate your payroll taxes manually and enter them for each paycheck.

Before you start:

Set your company file to manual payroll setting. (This is a one-time task.)

1. From the Employees menu, choose Payroll Services and then choose Set Up Payroll.

2. Click Choose a payroll option.

3. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and in the paragraph that begins, "If you don't want to use an Intuit Payroll Service...", click Learn more.

4. Click "I choose to manually calculate payroll taxes."

NOTE: Payroll tax information for the federal, state, and local agencies can change at various times throughout the tax year. To avoid penalties, be sure to consult your tax agencies often for any changes.”

I think that that note is important…I would say 75% of the problems that I see with QuickBooks are payroll related. Just be careful, the penalties for screwing up payroll taxes are expensive.

Out Of the Office.

I will me out of the office until around 4:30. I will be answering your questions as soon as possible thereafter...Thank you for your patience, and your questions.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Today's Tip: Consolidate your Posting Questions …Save $$$

Today’s QuickBooks tip is a simple but effective way to save money on tax preparation and consulting expenses.

I get many calls from clients that are confused about where to post something. Usually it is something different such as the sale of an asset, sale of a business segment, or the purchase of an expensive software package. I recommend that my clients create an “Ask CPA Expense” account and an “Ask CPA Income” account. Then when a transaction comes up that they are unsure about they can post them here. This saves me time and by extension saves them money in consulting fees.

Thank You to All our Readers.

Thank you very much for all your questions. I am doing my best to get them all answered in a timely manner, but please remember that I still have a day job as well. To continue to make this site a success, please visit our sponsors that interest you.

Am I Restoring the Wrong File?


New client -- he is using QB 2004 Pro. He has office in Lynn and Swampscott. I watched him back up the file at his Lynn office and email it to me. When I get the file here and open it -- it is only through January 05.

So he does it again over the phone -- same thing -- he's backing up through May be I'm only getting it as of January -- not a big file either -- what could be going wrong?


This sounds strange. I have a few suggestions.

1. Make sure that he is using the right file. Have them see what the last check number in his file is. This is a simple check to ensure that something hasn’t happened to the data. If the last check number in his file is the same as the one in the file he emailed you then you have a bigger problem…something has happened to his data. If the check numbers don’t agree, you can be sure that the problem lies with backup/email process. (Continue to step 2).

2. Walk him through the back up process. Make sure that he knows where the backup is being saved. I would have him put it on the desktop so that he can’t miss it.

3. Have him assign a name to the backup that is not easily confused…such as “accountant backup urgent.qbb”.

4. Walk him through the email process as well. Make sure that he is emailing you the right file. I have seen many clients that keep all there backups in the same folder and they will email you the wrong one. It sounds like that could be what is happening here.